The claimant appealed against an order striking out his claim in negligence. He had leaped from a window in a suicide attempt. The accommodation was provided by the defendant whilst caring for him under the 1983 Act.
Held: The case should be allowed to go ahead. Though the common law tort of negligence is still developing, negligence against the background of a statute will change less. The care plan adopted by the defendants for the claimant did not override or substitute for any statutory duty, and nor did the decision in Clunis make impossible any claim in negligence against an authority satisfying its duties under section 117 and: ‘it would be wrong to debar the Appellant from arguing at trial that on the facts of his case there was a relationship and proximity between him and the defendants that was far closer than between claimant and the defendant health authority in Clunis, and that on the facts of that proximity as may be established at trial it would be ‘fair just and reasonable’ to superimpose the common law duty of care contended for in this case, notwithstanding the ruling in Clunis on its particular facts. ‘ There was also an arguable case under human rights law.
 EWHC 1217 (QB)
Mental Heath 1983 117(2), European Convention on Human Rights 3
England and Wales
Cited – X (Minors) v Bedfordshire County Council; M (A Minor) and Another v Newham London Borough Council; Etc HL 29-Jun-1995
Liability in Damages on Statute Breach to be Clear
Damages were to be awarded against a Local Authority for breach of statutory duty in a care case only if the statute was clear that damages were capable of being awarded. in the ordinary case a breach of statutory duty does not, by itself, give rise . .
Cited – Smith v Chief Constable of Essex CA 2008
The claimant sought damages from the police, saying that the way they had handled the witness protection programme had led to him suffering injury.
Held: The action which had been struck out by the court below should be restored, because even . .
Cited – Phelps v Hillingdon London Borough Council; Anderton v Clwyd County Council; Gower v Bromley London Borough Council; Jarvis v Hampshire County Council HL 28-Jul-2000
The plaintiffs each complained of negligent decisions in his or her education made by the defendant local authorities. In three of them the Court of Appeal had struck out the plaintiff’s claim and in only one had it been allowed to proceed.
Cited – Barrett v London Borough of Enfield HL 17-Jun-1999
The claimant had spent his childhood in foster care, and now claimed damages against a local authority for decisions made and not made during that period. The judge’s decision to strike out the claim had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.
Cited – Stovin v Wise, Norfolk County Council (Third Party) HL 24-Jul-1996
Statutory Duty Does Not Create Common Law Duty
The mere existence of statutory power to remedy a defect cannot of itself create a duty of care to do so. A highway authority need not have a duty of care to highway users because of its duty to maintain the highway. The two stage test ‘involves . .
Explained – Clunis (By his Next Friend Prince) v Camden and Islington Health Authority CA 5-Dec-1997
The plaintiff had killed someone and, as a result, been convicted of manslaughter and ordered to be detained in a secure hospital when subject to after-care under section 117 of the 1983 Act. He sought damages from the health authority on the basis . .
Cited – Caparo Industries Plc v Dickman and others HL 8-Feb-1990
Limitation of Loss from Negligent Mis-statement
The plaintiffs sought damages from accountants for negligence. They had acquired shares in a target company and, relying upon the published and audited accounts which overstated the company’s earnings, they purchased further shares.
Held: The . .
Cited – Regina v Manchester City Council, ex parte Stennett etc HL 25-Jul-2002
The applicants were former mental patients who had been admitted to hospital compulsorily under section 3. On their release they were to be given support under section 117. The authorities sought to charge for these services, and appealed a decision . .
Cited – Gorringe v Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council HL 1-Apr-2004
Statutory Duty Not Extended by Common Law
The claimant sought damages after a road accident. The driver came over the crest of a hill and hit a bus. The road was not marked with any warning as to the need to slow down.
Held: The claim failed. The duty could not be extended to include . .
Cited – G v G (Minors: Custody appeal) CA 1985
A court should take great care before setting aside a decision of a judge which had involved the exercise of a judicial discretion. The court considered the duty of an appellate court in a children case: ‘What this court should seek to do is to . .
Cited – Savage v South Essex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Another CA 21-Dec-2007
The claimant said that the defendant hospital had been negligent in failing to prevent her daughter escaping from the mental hospital at which she was detained and committing suicide.
Held: The status of a detained mental patient was more akin . .
Cited – Takoushis, Regina (on the Application of) v HM Coroner for Inner North London and others CA 30-Nov-2005
Relatives sought judicial review of the coroner’s decision not to allow a jury, and against allowance of an expert witness. The deceased had been a mental patient but had been arrested with a view to being hospitalised. He was taken first to the . .
Cited – Osman v The United Kingdom ECHR 28-Oct-1998
Police’s Complete Immunity was Too Wide
(Grand Chamber) A male teacher developed an obsession with a male pupil. He changed his name by deed poll to the pupil’s surname. He was required to teach at another school. The pupil’s family’s property was subjected to numerous acts of vandalism, . .
Cited – AEI Rediffusion Music Ltd v Phonographic Performance Ltd CA 1-Feb-1999
The copyright tribunal was given a wide discretion for the awarding of costs on applications made to it for licenses. The nature of the applications and the different basis makes it dangerous to import rules for awards from the general rules on . .
Cited – Powell v United Kingdom ECHR 4-May-2000
A ten-year old boy had died from Addison’s disease. No inquest took place, because the coroner decided that the boy had died of natural causes. The parents, who were also affected by the events, had accepted compensation from the local health . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.
Negligence, Human Rights
Updated: 12 January 2022; Ref: scu.270295